MDT started just over a year and a half ago as a reorganization of existing framework projects and components (EODM, OCL, UML2, and XSD) into a cohesive whole. The first release, as part of the coordinated Europa simultaneous release, saw the addition of a UML2 Tools component, aimed at providing exemplary GMF-based editors for UML diagrams. Since then, another end-user component, OCL Tools, has been added to the sub-project. The next release of MDT (currently under development) is scheduled for June of 2008 as part of the Ganymede simultaneous release.
Just last month, two new components, BPMN2 and IMM, were created, and another component, SBVR, was proposed. Proposals for components based on the SysML and PRR OMG specifications are in also the works, and yet another one is about to be announced. It's almost enough to make one's head spin!
A number of things excite me about these most recent additions to MDT.
- Firstly, the involvement of new organizations (like Adaptive, Embarcadero Technologies, Soyatec, and XML Modeling, among others) and committers (Dave Carlson, Nick Dowler, and Yves Yang, for example) represents growth of the community, which is one of the metrics of a successful Eclipse project.
- Secondly, these new components have introduced opportunities for greater collaboration not only within the Eclipse ecosystem (with projects like DTP and STP, for example) but externally as well (with organizations like the OMG).
- Finally though, and most importantly in my mind, these new components will go a long way towards enabling end-to-end integration of enterprise-wide data and tooling in Eclipse-based modeling applications, from business-level concerns (like processes, vocabularies, and rules) all the way down to IT-level representations of information (like relational databases, LDAP, and XML).